Public Religion Research Institute Survey

Do Americans Believe Capitalism and Government are Working? Religious Left, Religious Right
and the Future of the Economic Debate

Religious progressives and religious conservatives hold different views about what being a religious person means.

Nearly 8-in-10 (79%) religious progressives say being a religious person is mostly about doing the right thing, compared to 16% who say it is about holding the right beliefs. By contrast, a majority (54%) of religious conservatives say being a religious person is primarily about having the right beliefs, while less than 4-in-10 (38%) say it is mostly about doing the right thing.

Religious conservatives and religious progressives disagree about the degree to which social problems stem from individual actions and decisions. More than 8-in-10 (82%) religious conservatives agree that if enough people had a personal relationship with God, social problems would take care of themselves. By contrast, nearly 7-in-10 (68%) religious progressives disagree that if enough people had a personal relationship with God, social problems would take care of themselves, compared to 31% who agree.

On questions related to economic policy and the role of government, religious progressives generally hold similar views to nonreligious Americans and religious moderates, while religious conservatives stand apart. For example, 37% of religious conservatives agree that the government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, compared to 69% of religious moderates, 72% of the nonreligious, and nearly 9-in-10 (88%) religious progressives.

http://publicreligion.org/research/2013/07/economic-values-survey-07-2013/

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